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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation methodology for mechatronic systems Wijewardene, Duminda C.

Abstract

With the ever increasing demand for engineering products and systems having added functionalities, compactness and energy efficiency, more and more mechanical products and systems are being integrated with electronics and sophisticated computer control giving rise to a whole new breed of products and systems termed 'mechatronic systems.' These systems are complex and "mixed" in nature due to the integration of components of different types and belonging to different engineering disciplines, thus requiring new approaches in design and evaluation of such systems. Furthermore, the evaluation of existing systems which have been modified using advanced computer control and integration of electronics, is necessary in order to assess their effectiveness. This thesis addresses the issue of evaluation of a mechatronic system, particularly one which has been modified by adding electronic/computer control systems. The existing components in the system should be able to cope with the new requirements imposed by the control system. A novel evaluation method is developed to determine the degree of integration of the components in a mixed system, based on energy flow, giving particular attention to the power domain of the system. To test the usefulness of the methodology, the developed methodology is applied to a practical mechatronic system, the electro-hydraulic manipulator system of an industrial fish cutting machine which has been developed in the Automation Industrial Laboratory of the University of British Columbia. Computer simulations are carried out as well on the system to investigate effectiveness of the method, since it is largely dependent on a valid model of the evaluated system.

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